Despite being on the market for decades, carbon bicycles are still largely the domain of road riders. Open minded roadies often dabble with rougher riding styles, but the widening world of gravel grinders and ultralight touring hardly overlaps with traditional road bike design at all. Rob McKillip is one such free thinking racer, and his can-do response to a mid-race catastrophe led him to a bizarre and beautiful new ride.
Enter a caption (optional)
As Bike Rumor reports, McKillip was warming up for the Iowa State time trial championship when his bike, a Trek TTX Equinox suddenly broke. Rather than drop out of the race, he hopped on his backup - a fatbike - and completed the trial. The sadly damaged Equinox took a place of honor on his wall at home, until he noticed a few small makers beginning to test out carbon mountain and fatbikes.
While doing a time trial on a fat tired ride sounds like hell to me, it must have lit a fire in McKillip. Rather than scrapping the broken Equinox, he took the wounded steed off the wall and brought it to Drew Wilson of Cyclocarbon Repair for an unusual consultation. Repairing carbon frames is difficult but not impossible, and McKillip's dream was to adapt the busted road bike into a fat tired time trial ride that kept its Trek TTX soul.
Enter a caption (optional) Enter a caption (optional)
After a lot of tinkering and creative rebuilding, Wilson's final product elegantly admits custom wheels and massive Surly Black Floyd tires, while maintaining delicate heel clearance and brilliantly featuring the original spirit of the Equinox. The rear triangle had to be entirely refabricated, using over 20 segments to blend the now sleek and extra curvy back end.
Though it seems like a vanity project, this fat time trialer has seen real miles since being reborn. The novelty of doing a trial on a fat bike might not be enough to inspire Trek itself, but it sounds like the people are ready for lightweight fatbikes.
Owner Rob McKillip with the Trek Equinox fatbike